(BARCELONA, Spain) — A van veered onto a promenade and barreled down the busy walkway in central Barcelona on Thursday, swerving back and forth as it mowed down pedestrians and turned a picturesque tourist destination into a bloody killing zone. Thirteen people were killed and 100 were injured, 15 of them seriously, in what authorities called a terrorist attack.
Two people have been arrested but the van driver, who fled on foot, remains at large. Early Friday morning, police killed five suspects engaged in an attack that injured six people in a seaside resort town. Police suspect the attacks are related.
The late afternoon attack in the city's Las Ramblas district left victims sprawled in the historic street, spattered with blood or writhing in pain from broken limbs. Others were ushered inside shops by officers with their guns drawn or fled in panic, screaming and carrying young children in their arms.
"It was clearly a terror attack, intended to kill as many people as possible," Josep Lluis Trapero, a senior police official for Spain's Catalonia region told reporters late Thursday.
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying in a statement on its Aamaq news agency that the attack was carried out by "soldiers of the Islamic State" in response to the extremist group's calls for followers to target countries participating in the coalition trying to drive it from Syria and Iraq.
Early Friday, Catalan police said they shot and killed five suspects in response to a terrorist attack in the seaside resort town of Cambrils, south of Barcelona. They said the suspects carried bomb belts, which were detonated by a police bomb squad.
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